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Average Vehicle Age Reaches 12.2 Years

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May 25, 2022—For the fifth year in a row, the average of light vehicles currently on the road has increased.

The average age of light vehicles in operation currently sits at 12.2 years according to an S&P Global report cited by The Detroit News.

The 12.2-year-old mark represents a two-month increase from last year. The average age of a car on the road right now is 13.1 years, and the average age of a truck is 11.6 years. The report suggests that the pandemic, supply chain disruptions and parts shortages all played a role in people deciding to hold on to their vehicles.

Before the pandemic began, the average vehicle age was anticipated to flatten because sales had declined. But as the pandemic interrupted production and it became difficult to access components such as semiconductors, things changed.

"It is a little bit of a unique situation driving the growth trajectory," Todd Campau, automotive aftermarket practice lead at S&P Global, said in the article. "We expect it to continue to grow for a few years and then drop off in the '25, '26 range, depending on how the pandemic, pent-up demand and scrappage work out."

This sounds good overall for the automotive repair industry, doesn't it? S&P Global initially forecasted an 11 percent in repairs and service in 2021 from 2020, and it is more than likely that prediction was surpassed.

Another thing that this average vehicle age speaks to is how difficult it is to purchase a new vehicle right now. Many compounding issues at play make it easier for drivers to keep their current vehicle and opt to bring it in for repairs, perhaps more often that usual.

Campau said that the new vehicle market is expected to pick up in the next 18 months or so.

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